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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Confirmed: Theo Walcott agrees new Arsenal deal

The 23-year-old England forward’s former contract was due to expire at the end of the season.

Theo Walcott originally signed for Arsenal from Southampton.
Theo Walcott originally signed for Arsenal from Southampton.

THEO WALCOTT ENDED months of speculation on Friday by signing a contract extension with Arsenal.

The 23-year-old England forward’s former deal was due to expire at the end of the season and he could have left the London club on a free transfer.

But it is understood he has now agreed a new three-and-a-half-year deal worth in the region of £100,000 a week.

Walcott, who joined the Gunners from Southampton as a teenager seven years ago, told Arsenal’s website on Friday: “I have made it clear from the start that I wanted to stay at Arsenal, so I am pleased we have agreed a deal that everyone is happy with.”
Now Walcott has set his sights on helping Arsenal end their eight-year wait for a major piece of silverware.

“What is important now is for the team to realise its potential and win trophies,” Walcott said. “I am very happy to have signed a new contract here at Arsenal — thanks to everyone for their continued support, especially the manager, everyone at the club and most importantly the fans.”

Walcott is Arsenal’s top scorer so far this season with 14 goals and the news he has signed a new contract will come as a huge relief to Gunners’ fans who have seen the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie leave the Emirates Stadium in recent years.

There were suggestions a fresh deal was contingent upon Walcott being played in his preferred role of central striker rather on the wing, where the forward found himself for the midweek FA Cup third round replay win against Swansea.

However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisted last week there was no such clause in the contract and, in any case, he would never agree to a deal which included such tactical demands from a player.

And the French boss hailed Walcott’s ability to play in two positions as he welcomed the England rising star’s decision to commit his future to Arsenal.

“Theo is a strong player and also a great person, and the combination of his ability and pace always make him such a valuable asset either from the flanks or down the middle,” Wenger said.

“Theo’s contract extension now gives us a strong nucleus of ambitious young players who have committed to the club and want to be successful with us as a group,” he added.

“We are all delighted that Theo has signed a new contract. He joined us as a 16-year-old and since then has developed very well to become an extremely important player for both Arsenal and England.”

- © AFP, 2012

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